In the fifth part of What Happened, Clinton describes the day to day process of running for office. She describes the struggle of finding a balance between keeping up with the pace that campaigning requires while still staying safe from burning out completely.
This chapter is dedicated to anyone that just wants to know about…living on the campaign trail. Not the adrenaline of the crowds at rallies, not the quick thinking on the debate stage, just the day to day routine that Clinton and her team had. Clinton also delves into her relationship with individuals that she worked with every day. From political advisors to hair and makeup, she talks about her relationship with each. She has some really interesting stories about her hair and makeup stylists, ones that I don’t want to spoil. Not only the experience of getting her hair and makeup done every day, but some of the faux pas-es that occurred when she had a day where she decided to forgo their services.
Clinton talks about her morning routine, her experiences with a constant Secret Service detail, and the snacks available on the plane. Fun Fact: Hillary Clinton is not a fan of flavor-blasted goldfish crackers.
At a couple points in the chapter, Clinton talks about individuals that she spoke with on the campaign trail. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing these stories, and again, I don’t want to spoil the experience for anyone that hasn’t read this book yet. I’ve said this time and time again, but this is the exact kind of story that I wanted from this book. Once again, regardless of politics, I think that many Americans can benefit from reading this book.
Clinton also talks about her experiences with embedded journalists on the campaign trail. Now, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, an embedded journalist stays with a group, usually an overseas base during times of war, and continuously covers the groups. As someone studying journalism, I still don’t know how I feel about embedded journalists. There’s strong arguments as to whether or not it helps produce quality journalism. On one hand, people are more likely to be open and honest with someone that they trust. On the other hand, it’s kind of dicey to get too close to people that you need to cover objectively. Anyway, Clinton has some nice stories to tell, and regardless of how you feel about embedded journalists, they’re worth a read.
Clinton briefly talks about her health, but to me the highlight of the chapter is Clinton’s debate preparation.Well, when Clinton was practicing for debates, she needed a Donald Trump. And Philippe Reines stepped up to the plate. He took on the role with eerie accuracy. From his speech patterns to his body language to his wardrobe, he was fully committed to his role. Maybe he was destined to be a method actor, but debate practice seemed to be both a solid preparation for the stage and a way to blow off a little steam. And yes, Clinton is right about part of it being on youtube.